Valley Preps

A handful of the area's top football recruits remain uncommitted

David Mitchell

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.com

ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.comCentral High wide receiver Jamal Couch makes a touchdown pass reception in front of Opelika cornerback Devin Guice in first half play at Garrett-Harrison Stadium Friday.  09.25.15
ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.comCentral High wide receiver Jamal Couch makes a touchdown pass reception in front of Opelika cornerback Devin Guice in first half play at Garrett-Harrison Stadium Friday. 09.25.15 rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

The Bi-City recruiting class of 2016 is one chock full of impressive prospects. Guys like Jawon Pass (Louisville), Javontay Smith (North Carolina), Essang Bassey (Wake Forest) and John Broussard (Auburn) have already committed or, in Broussard’s case, signed financial aid paperwork.

But there are a number of players who remain uncommitted and will add to an already deep class.

With national signing day less than a month away, here’s a look at some of the top uncommitted players around the area.

Jamal Couch, Central, ATH

Couch is listed as a three-star athlete on 247sports.com, though he played his high school ball exclusively at wide receiver. It’s been suggested that he may play linebacker at the next level, though his preference would be to stay on the offensive end. At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, the potential to do either is definitely there.

Couch had committed to Florida State early in 2015, but rescinded that commitment in December. With just a few weeks to go, conventional thought has him leaning toward Mississippi State, though other top programs remain in the mix.

Justin Crawford, Hardaway/Northwest Mississippi, RB

Crawford has had an interesting journey after leaving high school two years ago. He was a Division-I recruit at the time, but landed at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he had an enormous level of success.

This season, the running back was named the NJCAA national offensive player of the year after leading the country with 1,610 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. He had 2,022 all-purpose yards and 22 total scores.

His suitors include Louisville, Texas A&M, Alabama and Georgia, and he is expected to decide between the latter two. With two years of college experience in his pocket, he could make an instant impact on whatever program he joins.

Markus Wright, Jordan, LB

Wright is another player who had committed at one point in 2015, but has reopened his recruitment. He had pledged to California, but now his decision is anybody’s guess as the final weeks before signing day approach.

At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Wright has the size and ability of a Division-I linebacker. He’s listed as a three-star recruit on 247sports and will likely end up at that level.

California is still in the mix, but Wright lists Navy, Army and South Alabama as his top three at the moment. He was on a visit to Army on Saturday.

T.J. London, Carver, DT

Louisville, where London had originally committed, is still listed as the favorite for the big defensive tackle from Carver High.

At 6-foot-3 and 400 pounds, London can plug up a lot of holes in the middle of the defensive line. He committed to Louisville in March of last year, but reopened his recruitment just two months later.

In addition to Louisville, he claims offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State and N.C. State, among others.

Others to watch

A pair of defenders from Central with be worth keeping an eye on in the final weeks of the recruiting season. Linebackers Walter Pritchett and Toron Morten both could go Division-I. Pritchett lists his top three in no particular order as Navy, Troy and Furman. Morten has offers from Samford, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky, but his top three is listed on 247sports as Dartmouth, Furman and Tennessee Tech.

Marion County’s Lorenzo Smothers is another player to keep an eye on as he certainly has Division-I ability and has been recruited heavily by Georgia Southern. His lack of elite size has hurt him, but his athleticism has given some Division-I coaches enough reason to give him a look, even if they haven’t offered yet.

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